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Biophysical Journal


We report the resonance light scattering (RLS) spectra of chlorophyll a aggregated in a 9:1 solution of formamide and pH 6.8 phosphate buffer. The aggregate formed after 2 h of mixing, referred to as Chl(469), shows a strong scattering feature at 469 nm (Soret band) and a much weaker feature at 699 nm (Q(y) band). A kinetic investigation confirmed that the aggregation process is cooperative, and also detected one intermediate (Chl(458)) with a strong RLS spectrum but only a weak CD spectrum. We propose that aggregation proceeds via at least three steps: 1) formation of a nucleating species, probably a dimer of chlorophylls; 2) formation of large aggregates with little or no secondary structure (e.g., Chl(458)); and 3) conformational change to form helical aggregate (Chl(469)).


This work is freely available courtesy of the Biophysical Society and Elsevier.